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World Languages Webinar Notes

Going the Distance with World Languages: Proficiency-oriented Distance.

Date: 5/28/2020
Facilitators: Dr. Stephanie Gregson and Shanine Coats
Partners: Nicole Naditz, Twin Rivers Unified School District

Key Takeaways
Factors for success in distance learning
  • Building and maintaining community are critical.
  • Lessons should align to standards.
  • Provide a variety of opportunities for practice across the lines of communication.
  • Provide appropriate feedback based on the learning targets
  • Assessment that provides the information teachers and students need regarding student progress/achievement of the learning target.
  • Providing a clear path for how students can get help when needed.
  • A platform is a place to centralize and organize lessons, resources, practice, and assessment. Ensure students can use and access the platform.
  • Know and leverage the existing tools within your selected platform. Some platforms allow learners to respond in multiple ways, which can be beneficial for student participation. It also can include opportunities to differentiate which content and resources learners receive based on their individual needs.
  • Consider the best platform for synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Building and sustaining community
  • Community building is critical even in a distance learning environment.
  • Leverage your platform to bring in your student’s voices and branch out to other tools as needed.
  • Consider having tools that allow students to collaborate but also enable communication directly and only with you.
Designing online learning experiences
  • Focus on essential learning targets, align to the World Languages Standards and Framework
  • Design for success built from student values, prior knowledge, life experience, and earlier lessons.
  • Support for all learners as well as accompanying resources, including checks for understanding.
  • Allow for flexibility between synchronous and asynchronous opportunities, blending as needed.
California World Languages Standards adopted in 2019
  • Communication
    • Interpersonal
    • Interpretive
    • Presentational
  • Cultures
    • Culturally appropriate interaction
    • Cultural products, practices, and perspectives
  • Connections
    • Connections to other disciplines
    • Diverse perspectives and distinctive viewpoints
  • Several instructional shifts occur, whether learning is happening in a face-to-face or online environment. Just a few of these shifts include the following:
    • Students learn to use the target language, rather than master discrete grammatical concepts in isolation.
    • Teachers use backward design to craft culturally rich, learner-centered learning experiences focusing on the modes of communication.
    • Use of thematic resources and authentic resources.
The California World Languages Framework (draft)
  • Serves as a guidebook to more deeply understand the standards and guidance in the development of courses, selection of instructional materials, lesson design, assessment, professional learning, and more.
  • Chapters 5–10 pertain to the design of standards-aligned instruction in a distance learning blended learning environment
  • The draft framework is being recommended for approval to the State Board of Education (SBE) at the July 8−9, 2020, meeting.
Designing Learning Experiences, Part 1 (refer to template)
  • Performance Targets and Essential Questions
    • Lesson content, practice activities, and assessments guided by pre-established performance targets for each mode and essential questions as to what learners should be able to do at the end of the lessons.
    • Performance targets guide short- and long-term lesson planning and assessment and provide a means to measure progress and implement scaffolds.
    • Lessons continue to align with standards.
    • Intermediate and higher classes may benefit from essential questions exploring facets of and responses to the current situation. Use this approach with much caution as it may be triggering for some learners. The current situation may provide additional contexts for some classes.
  • Lesson objectives
    • Can-do statements and shared learning targets still needed
    • Even more critical to ensure learners know and understand the learning target and path
Designing Learning Experiences, Part 2 (refer to template)
  • Gain attention
    • Setting the stage is critical to readying the neural synapses in the brain to take in new information, store it, and make connections with their own experience and background knowledge.
    • Reconnect with learners in general to maintain community.
    • Revisit and practice previously learned foundational skills that will lay the groundwork for this new learning target.
    • Some students may respond more readily to tasks in the digital space.
    • Students have the ability and time to observe, reflect, and confirm what they already have (vocabulary, functions, etc.).
  • How do we gain attention?
    • Use tools to for brainstorming (LUCID Chart, Padlet, Mentimeter, Dotstorming) as well as other tools to gamify learning (Quizizz, Gimkit, Kahoot, Quizlet, and FluentKey Live). Use personal narratives and activities based upon authentic resources.
  • Provide input
    • Input rooted in developing students’ understanding of the relationship between cultural products, practices, and perspectives
    • Information provided in the target language, modeled, and contextualized in an authentic cultural context and aligned to standards with it purposefully and precisely designed to ensure the achievement of the learning targets
    • Include checks for understanding
    • Mitigate negative impacts from this year’s interruptions, changes, and student circumstances. Ensure that learning continues: limiting targets should not ultimately exacerbate inequities.
    • Developing and designing lessons must be planned strategically in selecting the targets to help learners maintain the rate of progress.
    • Consider students are viewing your lessons on their time. The students may not have consistent access to technology.
    • It may take longer for students to complete lessons distantly. Allow opportunities for students to review or revisit lessons.
    • Some possible tools for providing input could include Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pear Deck, Nearpod, Prezi and Prezi Video, and Screencastify.
  • Well-designed video lessons
    • Are contextualized, in the target language, and start with building on previous knowledge
    • Find natural breaks to break it into small chunks to support the learning
    • Design for the edges
    • Features include:
      • Visual support––support verbal and written text
      • Simple, clear slides
      • Draw on previous student knowledge
      • Provide multiple models, examples, and metacognition
      • Built-in checks for understanding with sample responses to help the learner identify if they understood the lesson
      • Information on where to/how to get help if further needed
  • Elicit performance and provide feedback 
    • Students need multiple opportunities to practice in ways aligned with the learning targets with practice activities that focus more on communication than grammatical accuracy with actionable feedback.
    • Mitigate negative impacts from this year’s interruptions and changes and from inequities in students’ circumstances. Provide multiple opportunities and multiple ways to practice, including feedback.
    • Be strategic in selecting practice tools. Focus on learning, not the tool.
Designing Learning Experiences, Part 3 (refer to template)
  • Enhance retention and transfer
    • Proficiency impacts retention.
    • Mitigate negative impacts from this year’s interruptions, changes, and student circumstances. Robust lesson design is critical, and students may have more access to resources from year to year.
  • Providing practice
    • Key features need to align precisely with the learning targets and assessments. Focus on communication, and provide multiple opportunities to practice and receive actional feedback.
Proficiency ranges
  • There are four levels of proficiency (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior) which describe what learners can do in the language consistently, accurately, and spontaneously in authentic language use situations outside of class, without the aid of their teacher, notes, or instructional materials.
  • Movement amongst levels is not linear, and speed can vary within the modes of communication.
Modes of Communication
  • Interpretive Communication
    • Involves demonstrating how one understands, interprets, and analyzes what has been heard, read, or viewed. This communication is one way and does not involve interaction.
    • Implies the ability to read “between the lines,” including understanding from within a cultural mindset or perspective––in this case, one that is usually different from that or those of the learner.
  • Interpersonal Communication
    • Involves interacting and negotiating meaning in a variety of settings and for multiple purposes.
    • Spontaneous, two-way communication where the participants observe and monitor one another to see how their message is interpreted. Adjustments and clarifications are made accordingly.
  • Presentational Communication
    • Involves presenting information, concepts, and ideas on a variety of topics and for multiple purposes, in culturally appropriate ways. Messages may inform, explain, persuade, or narrate for a target-culture audience.
    • One-way communication intended to facilitate interpretation by members of the other culture where no direct opportunity for the active negotiation of meaning between members of the two cultures exists.
  • Tools provide practice opportunities from a distance for modes of communication. Be selective and strategic in your selection of tools. Resource list and links are provided separately.
    • Interpretive
      • Edji, Kami, Edpuzzle, or FluentKey
      • •Integrated Performance Assessment
    • Interpersonal (paid tools)
      • Extempore, GoReact
    • Presentational Mode
      • Google Docs, Adobe Spark (video), Flipgrid, Seesaw, Google Forms, GoFormative, Pear Deck, Kami, Quizizz, Quizlet, and Gimkit
      • Formative Assessment Tools Matrix
Offering feedback to learners
  • Must be planned, timely and actionable
    • As teachers are curating or designing the practice opportunities their learners will have, they should also determine how students will receive feedback so that it is timely. No matter how students receive feedback, it should be actionable: it is nice to hear “good job,” but that does not tell the learners what precisely they did well nor does it provide them with their next steps to achieve the learning target or their goals.
  • Strategic
    • Teacher feedback is not the only feedback. Be strategic and draw on multiple ways that learners can receive feedback. Consider using peer feedback, self-assessment, and reflection based on rubrics or learning target aligned questions.
    • Automatic feedback can provide a means to offer items that can be automatically graded. Many even allow you to add input for right and wrong answers, including links to online resources students can review to clear up misconceptions or strengthen their skills.
    • Determine which feedback to provide to the whole class and which feedback to provide to individuals.
  • Designed with, and for, learning targets
  • What students produce through their assessment tasks should be as authentic or realistic as possible, but their interpretive tasks should also be based on authentic documents. A bonus is that learners can learn from the materials used in the assessment.
  • Assessment tasks should not feel like a “gotcha” or trap. Tasks follow logically from the practice activities the learners did leading up to this point.
  • Integrate the tasks within the assessment. Each task supports the learners’ achievement in the subsequent task.
  • Consider a single-point rubric that attempts to identify the characteristics of student work that meets the standards for each criterion with space for individual notes.

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Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Friday, August 4, 2023
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